Tag: Portland Business Journal

Cura Gets Fined Big Time: Cannabis Legalization Works, Labels Matter

Every misstep by a cannabis company is seized upon by Reefer Madness prohibitionists, and Cura Cannabis, the corporation behind Select cannabis oils, has certainly had its fair shares of missteps in its controversial history. According to The Oregonian, Cura’s history begins with a million dollar real estate scam, includes a rape allegation, and now includes a $110,000 fine, the largest ever levied by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) the state agency regulating the Beaver State’s alcohol and cannabis industries.

The Portland Business Journal reported on the fine:

OLCC investigators discovered the labeling problems in early November, while the flavor ban was in place. Even as the company was in discussions with the OLCC over the issue, Cura posted on Instagram that its “flagship Select Elite uses only cannabis distillate and cannabis terpenes.”

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OLCC Executive Director Steve Marks said the agency considered doing a recall in early November when the problems were discovered, given that the Select products were in violation of the vape ban. But a judicial stay on the ban quickly followed, and it wasn’t clear to the OLCC that the products posed a provable health risk — like a pesticide violation, for example — needed to bring a recall.

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“This was a communication problem,” Amy Margolis, an attorney representing Cura, said in a Nov. 18 email to the OLCC obtained by the Business Journal through a public records request. “Cura is, as you know, a large company with many employees each working in different departments and at different locations. In this case what we think happened is that an employee (or employees) in the manufacturing connex decided to add.”

I’m proud of Kind Leaf for putting transparency and customer safety over profits by being proactive in ensuring that cannabis products on its shelves are labeled accurately. Cannabis legalization works when regulators fairly enforce common sense testing and labeling requirements; it can excel when cannabis companies step up to go the extra mile to protect and inform the cannabis community.

 

Small Oregon Counties Are Generating Big Cannabis Sales Numbers

When people across the nation think about Oregon and cannabis, there’s a good chance that they think of cannabis-friendly Portland, or maybe farms with plants the size of trees in Southern Oregon. However, when you look at the sales numbers across the state, you can see that cannabis is popular all across the Beaver State, and per capita, the smaller counties are bringing in big numbers themselves. Of course, Multnomah, which houses

Portland and is by far the most populous country in the state, has big sales and still impressively ranked seventh per capita in sales per person last year. But it’s smaller counties that are demonstrating the biggest sales per resident as well as growth from the previous year.

As the Portland Business Journal reports, Baker County, boosted by sales from people crossing over the Idaho-Oregon border, reigned supreme per capita, but another county looks poised to take the top spot in 2020:

Baker County was Oregon’s pot-purchasing leader in 2019 on a per capita basis as sales in the state continued to climb, but a neighboring county appears set to take the top spot in 2020.

Sales in Baker County totaled more than $30.1 million in 2019. With a population of 16,820, that worked out to $1,794 per resident, according to a Business Journal analysis based on data from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

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But that all changed last year when recreational pot came to Ontario, in Malheur County, right on the state line.

The first Ontario shop opened in July, and by the end of the year there were three. Sales totaled more than $20.2 million in 2019, including $14.1 million in the last three months of the year.

All but 5 of Oregon’s counties (c’mon Crook, Gilliam, Morrow, Sherman and Wheeler!) are wisely taking advantage of cannabis sales to generate jobs and create revenue for their local communities. Umatilla County, housing Pendleton’s Kind Leaf, saw over $11 million in sales. With 81,160 residents, that comes out to $144 per resident, ranking 19th among Oregon’s 36th counties. When it comes to growth over 2018, Umatilla tied Marion with a 24.1% increase over the previous year.

Cannabis legalization is clearly hear to stay and Oregonian adults should take advantage of the tested cannabis flower and products available across our great state. Even better, seek out small businesses like Kind Leaf to really boost the local economy with companies that care about their communities.